Newscast Media MOSCOW—While some could not wait for the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to occur, Chavez’s family, friends and countrymen have been grieving his untimely death since the announcement was made. According to Russian media outlet Ria Novosti, Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the many world leaders who praised the legacy of Chavez.
“He was an unorthodox and strong person, who looked to the future and always set himself the highest standards,” Putin said in a Kremlin message of condolence after Chavez’s death on Tuesday following a prolonged battle with cancer.
Putin added he was confident the Venezuelan people would be able to overcome what he called the “test” presented by Chavez’s death and continue to build a “strong, independent and prosperous” nation.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Chavez had devoted his life to the battle for “justice and equality.”
“We share the pain of your loss—we will always remember this wonderful person, patriot and citizen,” he said in a message of condolence to the Venezulean people. In the former Soviet republic of Belarus, strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko declared a three-day mourning period in connection with Chavez’s death.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Venezuela had lost a “brave, wise and revolutionary leader.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said simply he was “conveying condolences” to Chavez’s “family and the people of Venezuela.”
In Cuba, the government said in a statement that Chavez had “stood by Fidel [Castro] like a true son.”
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said: “This death should fill all Latin and Central Americans with sadness,” adding “Hugo Chavez was without doubt a leader committed to his country and to the development of the people of Latin America.”
She described Chavez as “a great leader, an irreparable loss and above all a friend of Brazil,” Ria Novosti reported.
Newscast Media CARACAS, Venezuela — Following his return from Cuba where he underwent surgery for cancer, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez addressed thousands of supporters on a Monday. Venezuelans celebrated independence from Spanish rule Tuesday, but Chavez did not attend the celebrations because his
doctors advise him against exposing himself to three hours of the hot sun.
An emotional crowd turned out to the presidential palace in Caracas, singing their national anthem throughout, expressing joy and relief that the president was back home.
Chavez, 56, addressed the large crowd waving the Venezuelan flag saying, “To my beloved people, to my beloved soldiers, to my beloved country: Here I am recuperated, but still in recovery,” he said in the brief statement.
“We are no longer a colony of any empire and we never will be again, thanks to God, the people, and our soldiers,” Chavez said.
“Long live Venezuela! Long live the Venezuelan people! Long live life! And of Latin America! Long live Fidel [Castro]! Long live Cuba! Long live life! And long live Chavez!”
The President had been in Cuba since 8 July where he underwent emergency surgery for the removal of a cancerous growth, although his government at first tried to play down the seriousness of his illness.
Chavez’s sudden unexpected arrival Monday appeared to be his attempt to put any speculation to rest.
Chavez has been elected three times since 1999 and survived an aborted coup by the military in 2002. He has already announced his intention to run for another term in 2012.